It began raining almost the instant I stepped outside this morning. I groaned and put my earphones in and prepared for a long, wet day.
It rained and rained. Every inch of me was soaked. My underwear and socks were soggy. My pants, weighted by their wetness, kept threatening to fall down.
I tried to remember that I am lucky. Lucky to be outside, lucky to have two strong legs to carry me all these miles. I tried to remember that I should love the wet days as much as I love the dry ones. Didn’t eight years in Oregon teach me anything? I pulled out all my best pep talks. But I would have jumped at the chance to be dry and inside, perhaps lying on a couch by a fireplace.
A few hours into the walk something amazing happened. The rain stopped. The sun shone intermittently from behind the clouds. My fingers and toes began to unfreeze. “It’s a Camino miracle!” I said to the cows in the field. They looked up at me but did not even recognize this act of divineness with a moo.
Around mile 17 I stopped for a beer. At mile 18 I had to pee so badly I thought I might cry. But there was nowhere to hide for a quick squat. I picked up my pace and sprinted into Melinde.
I found an albergue and a toilet. Then I was shown to a bed. As I unpacked my bag an old Frenchman approached me. He was dressed only in his underwear. He said something in French and indicated that I could not have my bed.
“I don’t know what you’re saying,” I said.
He said something more in French and pointed to the top bunk, gesturing that I should move up there.
“Sorry,” I shrugged, and went back to unpacking. I was in no mood to be bossed around by an old man in his underwear.
“No possible,” he said in Spanish, shaking his head in anger.
Later, another Frenchman in the room said to me, “You must be Hannah.”
“The other man said that this bed was for Hannah.”
“Well, I’m not Hannah,” I said. “I’m Kim. Nice to meet you.”
Allow me to vent for a minute.
I walked twenty miles today. If Hannah wanted my bed, Hannah should have walked faster. It isn’t fair to claim beds for people that haven’t arrived. There is no way in hell I am going to take the top bunk because someone who isn’t even here wants the bottom.
And while I’m at it, why do old European men think that it is okay to walk around in their underwear or, worse, naked? I’ve seen more old penis’ on the Camino than I’d like to remember. I have not, for the record, seen one young, attractive man walking around naked. This leads me to believe that this habit of exposing oneself is an affliction that strikes only in old age.
Obviously I am grumpy. I’m going to go take a walk around town and try to shake it off.
Today I walked 20 miles (32.2 km).